Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918


Charles Wesley Peter

CHARLES WESLEY PETER. A valuable, well conducted farm is that owned by Charles Wesley Peter, one of the substantial and respected citizens of Jackson Township, Riley County, a property largely developed through his own efforts and handsomely improved. Mr. Peter has been a resident of Kansas for forty-four years.

Charles Wesley Peter was born November 16, 1850, in Jackson County, Indiana. His parents were Jonas and Barbara (Bruenner) Peter, who were born in Switzerland. They were married in the United States and then settled in Jackson County, Indiana, where the mother died after the birth of four children: Susan, Mary, Charles Wesley and William F., the only survivor being Charles Wesley. Jonas Peter contracted a second marriage, with Barbara Rachel Littican, and they had three children: Eliza, Emma and George, the first named being deceased. Jonas Peter was a successful farmer in Jackson County, Indiana, where he died in 1868, at the age of fifty-three years. In 1859 he had visited Kansas and bought 500 acres of land in Fancy Creek Valley, a part of which is included in the present farm of Charles Wesley Peter.

Ten years after his father had purchased the Riley County land, the late William F. Peter, of whom a biography appears in this work, came to Kansas and located on the property, and in 1872 Charles Wesley followed. The two brothers united in developing the lands and lived together in a primitive cabin until 1879, when Charles Wesley erected his comfortable frame residence.

In 1880 Charles Wesley Peter was married to Miss Amelia Knostman, who is a daughter of William Knostman. William Knostman was born in Hanover, Germany, September 7, 1830. When six years old he was brought to America by his parents and grew to manhood at Brownstown, Indiana. In Cincinnati, Ohio, he gained his first mercantile experience, and from 1857 to 1867 was in business at Catlettsburg, Kentucky. In the latter year he came to Manhattan, Kansas, where, until 1895, when he retired, he was active in the mercantile business, in which he was succeeded by his son, E. L. Knostman.

Mr. and Mrs. Peter have one son, Charles F., who is now engaged in farming in Fancy Creek Valley, where his father owns 360 well improved acres. General farming and stockraising is carried on with satisfactory results. Mr. and Mrs. Peter and their son are all members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In politics Mr. Peter supports the men and measures of the republican party but merely as a good citizen desirous of stable government for he has no political ambition for himself. He has been identified with the Masonic fraternity for many years and as a Master Mason stands well in his lodge.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1765-1766 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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